Why Joe Perry’s Solo Debut Should Have Been Aerosmith’s Greatest Album

Having seen Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry on the cover of the latest edition of Guitar World magazine, along with an extended article about both the band and its new album “Music From Another Dimension!,”and having skimmed through the accompanying article, I decided to write a letter to the editor of the magazine to express my opinion regarding the bad boys from Boston and the significance of Mr. Perry’s solo debut album.  These photos were shot when The Joe Perry Project played the Agora in Columbus, Ohio, USA on Friday April 18, 1980.  Below is a copy of my letter.

I have also yet to figure out what is causing the uploaded photographs to look slightly askew when viewing the finished posting.  This is not the case of the actual photograph scanned onto my computer (yes, I still proudly shoot film) nor when I first upload them to my WordPress.com blog page.  Again, I am sometimes embarrassed by the final product, as it appears that I care very little by their actual appearance.  As a neat freak and a perfectionist (both a blessing and a curse), this is far from the truth.

As always, looking at my photos on WordPress.com doesn’t do justice to the 4×6 photographs I hold in my hand.  If I am fortunate enough to have you view my work, and you find the quality of my photographs lacking, please let me know via a viewer comment.

Steven H. Spring

November 24, 2012

The Sounding Board
Guitar World
28 East 28th Street, 12th Floor
New York, New York 10016

Dear Board,

I must first admit that I no longer listen to Aerosmith.  I gave their 2004 album Honkin’ On Bobo a listen, but it was way too much rock-blues than blues-rock for me.  It also seems that I have aged while Steven Tyler hasn’t.  My musical tastes have also changed quite drastically since the days of my youth.  I did however, first see the band at Vet’s Memorial, in Columbus, Ohio on April 2, 1975 with Rush opening.  I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read the entire article, but Tyler’s quote about his toxic twin,  “If you want to hear rock and roll at its finest, just listen to Joe’s song ‘Oh Yeah’ on the new album….Put that up against anything on Rocks or Toys in The Attic” caught my attention.  Back when I rocked, I always thought those two albums were by far the band’s best.

However, if you want to hear what should have been the greatest album from Aerosmith, listen to Perry’s 1980 solo debut Let The Music Do The Talking.  I heard this album when it first came out, back when all the FM radio stations had their six-pack Saturday night shows, playing six albums in their entirety for us highly addicted, obsessive-compulsive audiophiles.  When flipping over the vinyl, the DJ quoted Mr. Perry as saying his new music was funk-rock not punk-rock.

With great songs such as Ready On The Firing Line, Rockin’ Train, Discount Dogs and of course the title track, this album far out rocks anything that Perry’s other band did.  I was fortunate to see and shoot four rolls of film when The Joe Perry Project played the Agora in Columbus on Friday April 18, 1980 at a cost of $6.00 a ticket.  Plus film and developing.  I also saw Perry open up for ZZ Top at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati around this same time.

To prove my claim as to the greatness of Let The Music Do The Talking, one can compare Aerosmith’s tired cover of Perry’s title track from their 1985 album “Done With Mirrors” (Perry’s first album back in the band after a five-year hiatus) to the original.  ‘Nuff said!  For any rock or funk guitarist who has yet to experience Joe Perry at his very best, I insist that you stop everything you are doing right now, and since record stores are very rare, go on-line and place an order for Let The Music Do The Talking.  Then, when the CD comes in the mail, I highly recommend that you grab a pair of quality headphones, program your CD player to play tracks 3, 6, 8, 1 and 3 (trust me…) at a very high volume.  After doing so, you can then play the album in its entirety through loudspeakers.  Play that funky music, white boy!

Steven H. Spring





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